​​Man On A Bike Yells At A Dad & Toddler After The Child Sat In The Middle Of The Trail — ‘Put Him On A Leash Like A Dog’

The tense situation quickly escalated into violence.

man riding a bike Pavel Danilyuk / Pexels

As school ends and summer blooms, kids across the country are set free in parks, playgrounds, and local pools to do what they do best: run around, shriek with joy, and take up space.

One father-son duo found themselves faced with a stranger’s road rage, or rather, trail rage after a walk through a Michigan park turned violent.

A man on a bike yelled at a dad and his toddler in the middle of a trail, screaming, ‘Put him on a leash like a dog.’

According to a local news outlet in Kent County, Michigan, a set of dad friends decided to take advantage of the sunshine to walk with their kids along Kent Trails.


Both dads spoke off the record in order to avoid further damage from the already-viral encounter with the angry cyclist.

The two men had three kids between them: One dad was with his 3-year-old son and 4-month-old daughter, while the other dad was with his 2-year-old son.


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Both dads pushed their kids in strollers, the preferred mode of transportation for small humans who can’t walk far distances over long periods of time.

The dads explained that their kids were climbing in and out of their strollers throughout the day, a very popular and entirely developmentally appropriate activity for the toddler crowd.

As their outdoor adventure came to a close, one dad said that the kids “reached their limit,” which is, again, a normal reaction for a small human with big emotions after a long day out.

toddler walking down a trail in the woods BryanRupp


The 3-year-old boy sat down in the middle of a trail, which is when the cyclist accosted him and his dad.

“We had made sure to stop for other people who were on bikes. We have been pretty aware of that. We had to pull over to the side, grab our kids, hold their hands just to make sure they go by. We had actually just done that for a couple of other cyclists when this man approached us,” one dad said.

young man biking Yura Forrat / Pexels


The dad whose son was sitting on the trail described his thought process, saying, “My mind is like, OK, just stay put. Because, you know, if I run out in front of the cyclist, that’s a danger.”

“If the kid runs out, that’s a danger because where’s the cyclist going to go?” he asked.

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The dad seemed to have done the best he could in a stressful situation as the cyclist became agitated.

The man on the bike cursed at the child and then approached the toddler’s dad, ready for a fight.

“I’m holding my arm out to (gesture that he should) stay back from us,” the protective dad said. “You know, he kind of knocks it out of the way and then that’s when he swings at me. Hits me right in the side of my head here, bounces my head into my son’s head.”


The other dad, who witnessed the interaction, described how “terrified and shaken up” the toddler was, saying, “He’s just seen his father assaulted by this random person who he’s never met before, and he doesn’t know why it’s happening.”

man biking Munbaik Cycling Clothing / Pexels

He started to record the incident on his phone in the hopes that the visual accountability would make the cyclist calm down.


Before leaving, the cyclist asked the dad an aggressive, strange question, wondering, 'Why don’t you put him on a leash, like a dog?'

Cyclists often find themselves navigating dangerous situations on crowded streets, where cars speed past and use bike lanes as though they didn’t hold a specific purpose: To keep bikers safe.

Yet no amount of built-up tension excuses being so ruthless to someone else or yelling at a young child who can’t protect themselves.

Most commenters praised the dad for de-escalating the tense situation and expressing gratitude that everyone was safe, while calmer heads prevailed.

adults and kids walking on trails Orlando Allo / Canva Pro


“Not a cyclist, but as someone who uses a wheelchair, I can confirm it’s easier and safer to go around someone who isn’t moving than someone who’s trying to get out of your way,” one person said in the comments.

Yet other people decried the need to find the cyclist, sharing that they’d posted the interaction in various local groups online.

While the cyclist’s actions were volatile and inappropriate, public shaming shouldn’t be the go-to response. It doesn’t affect change in people, no matter how poorly they’ve behaved.


All public shaming really does is pour gasoline on a fire that’s already been ablaze.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that the kids are safe and free to be themselves, even when that means their existence inconveniences other people.  

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.